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The thrilling sequel to Sharon Cameron's blockbuster gothic steampunk romance, THE DARK UNWINDING, will captivate readers anew with mystery and intrigue aplenty.

When Katharine Tulman wakes in the middle of the night and accidentally foils a kidnapping attempt on her uncle, she realizes Stranwyne Keep is no longer safe for Uncle Tully and his genius inventions. She flees to Paris, where she hopes to remain undetected and also find the mysterious and handsome Lane, who is suspected to be dead.

But the search for Lane is not easy, and Katharine soon finds herself embroiled in a labyrinth of political intrigue. And with unexpected enemies and allies at every turn, Katharine will have to figure out whom she can trust--if anyone--to protect her uncle from danger once and for all.

Filled with deadly twists, whispering romance, and heart-stopping suspense, this sequel to THE DARK UNWINDING whisks readers off on another thrilling adventure.
Sharon's Website | Twitter (@CameronSharonE) | Facebook | A Spark Unseen Trailer

It’s no secret that I’m doing horrendous now on my Goodreads challenge. You may be thinking, Mara, are you gone in the head? We’re here to read about your reaction to A Spark Unseen not to talk about the state of your reading ambitions at the moment. But I mention this diabolical truth because I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get into A Spark Unseen since I’ve been going through books at a much slower rate than I’m used to. I was afraid that even though I loved The Dark Unwinding, my brain wasn’t going to give a crap and then I’d be faced with more disappointing news.

Haha, A Spark Unseen is the shite, silly Miss
Oh, yeah, I mean that. The Dark Unwinding is a homey story, where I’d like to think a historical me would’ve fit in and enjoyed and felt comfortable despite all the hair-raising mysteries of the gothic keep Katharine finds herself in and the unorthodox creations that seem to find her and would probably have me inventing a safe word like ‘dragon slippers’ every time I got uncomfortable or startled, BECAUSE, even with all that, it’s a story of a practical young woman finding home, a family, and love at once while detangling a dangerous mystery by sheer cleverness and mad sleuthing skillz.

It keeps the political intrigue either actually intriguing or in the background where I like to think it belongs in a book. Political stuff gives me the turtle face and trust me, people, that’s not attractive.

“Call me Miss Tulman, if you please.”
That’s Miss Tulman to you, Mrs. Dupont, and don’t you deliberately “Mademoiselle” this kick-ass brilliant lady because she’s too boss for you and for that.

Everything I loved about Katharine in The Dark Unwinding came rushing back to me as soon as I’d started A Spark Unseen. She’s practical, intuitive, and genuinely smart with a soft heart, and that puts her in line for an exclusive invitation to a sesh of Triple B—that’s Book Buying Binge to you commoners—because I need a companion like her to keep me entertained and in check. Katharine runs things, keeps everybody in line and defended. It’s so easy to feel deeply frightened and sympathetic on her behalf because she’s forced to make even heftier decisions about the welfare of countless people, all of whom she adores with her Uncle heading the list.

She is constantly mentally shouting for Lane—her beaux from The Dark Unwinding who isn’t around for reasons for which you should’ve read the first book to know *sticks out tongue*--to help her with these burdens, and while that might have irked me normally—you know, buck up girl and take it like a man instead of calling for one—it didn’t because everyone is well-aware of how capable she is. More, it’s a matter of her being utterly exhausted handling this all on her own. She’s alone and scared, and Lane would be the only one she could trust to help take the load off so she could breathe.

I found myself wishing for him too.

For once, it isn’t the man who makes the page—is that a saying?
Sometimes when a book is a particular victim of the Sophomore Slump, and the main love interest is gone, I find myself flipping pages more earnestly because I want him back and can’t wait for his return. That’s a problem. If her reunion with her guy is the only thing making me speed through the story then said story has a serious lack of substance everywhere else. And while I found myself anxious for Lane’s return, that honestly wasn’t what kept me flying through the book!

It’s the fast-paced start, from which Katharine quickly finds herself on the run. The race against these looming threats in both England and France hastily closing in before Katharine has the proper time to plan and think. It’s the not knowing what may happen to all my favorite characters of this book.

Yeah, basically Cameron is as boss a lady as Katharine.

All I’m saying is… what am I saying? Oh, yeah, this was AWESOME!
If you want some fantastic historical fiction with some light undertones of steampunk and gothicness, you’ll dig this book. And if that’s not what you’re looking for? First of all, what is wrong with you, you silly clown? And second, you don’t need to be interested in any of those things to appreciate this book.

Seriously, the characters feel like a gargantuan extended family, keeping you inclined to care about all of them, most especially Katharine, her trusty sidekick maid, Mary, and her lovable Uncle Tully. I raved about The Dark Unwinding recently, and if that’s not enough to convince you, I’m humbly certain that this review has done something to push you in the right direction.

Hardcover / 352 pgs / Sept 24th 2013 / Scholastic / Goodreads / $17.99

I picked this up at the Scholastic booth during Book Expo America.


Marathon said...

It's great when you enjoy a book, espesh when you've been in a bit of a reading slump! There must have been something going around because I felt the same way but now I'm out of it! Glad you enjoy this, I might have to consider reading it ;)

Marathon said...

That's a good point - the absent love interest thing! I usually find that's a common second book occurrence, and most of the time, I DO only read on waiting for the reunion. You're right, if that's the only thing keeping you turning the pages, that can never be a good thing. I'm glad that wasn't the case here! And I really like the sound of this Katharine. She sounds like my sort of character. I need to read the first book soon, don't I?

Lovely review as always!